Under a proposed agreement with Los Angeles County, the team behind the Crenshaw Crossing development in Baldwin Hills could more than double the amount of affordable housing planned within their project.

The project, which would rise from Metro- and Los Angeles County-owned properties next to Expo/Crenshaw Station, calls for the construction of two eight-story buildings containing 401 studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments above podium structures containing roughly a 502-car garage, a 25,000-square-foot grocery store, and 15,000 square feet of additional retail space.

Under current plans, co-developers Watt Companies and West Angeles Community Development Corporation were expected to set aside 20 percent of the total apartments - or 81 units - as deed-restricted affordable housing at the very low-income level.

However, under a conceptual agreement approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Watt Companies and West Angeles CDC would reserve an additional 30 percent of the Crenshaw Crossing's apartments for rent by low- and moderate-income households.  This arrangement, if realized, would result in approximately half of the residential units being set aside for rent below market rate.

“We have but one opportunity to get the development on this catalytic corner where the Crenshaw and Exposition Lines meet right. And right means building a model transit-oriented community with high-quality housing that the community that calls the Crenshaw Corridor home can afford,” said 2nd District Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas in a news release. “I am pleased to partner with Watt Companies and the West Angeles Community Development Corporation to help advance this community vision and ensure that 200 of the units will be affordable to a diverse array of low-income, moderate, and working-class individuals and families.”

The additional deed-restricted units would be provided in exchange for a $2 million contribution from the Los Angeles County Development authority for the construction of a new transit plaza adjacent to the station.  The money would come from the County's share of Proposition A local return funds.

A perceived lack of on-site affordable housing has previously been a point of contention for the Crenshaw Subway Coalition, an activist organization which has opposed the Watt-West Angeles project.

The agreement between the County and the Crenshaw Crossing team is contingent on the approval of a ground lease for the two properties.

Upon approval and issuance of building permits, a representative of the Crenshaw Crossing project has previously indicated that construction is expected to occur over 24 months.

Following completion fo the Crenshaw/LAX Line, the adjacent station is expected to see approximately 45,000 daily passengers.

In addition to the developers, other members of the project team include the Vernon-Central LATTC WorkSource Center and the Coalition for Responsible Community Development, which are coordinating its local hire program, and design firms Belzberg ArchitectsSVA Architects, and RELM.